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The African Legal Support Facility (ALSF); on November 6, concluded a five-day training workshop for government officials on negotiating financial agreements.
Twenty officials representing the Ministry of Finance and Economic Cooperation and other government agencies participated in the training designed to expose officials to aspects of negotiation of financial instruments so that they are better able to explore, develop, and implement strategies to conclude balanced agreements.
Through a simulation exercise, the participants made presentations to defend the interests of a lender or borrower in the negotiation of a sovereign bond and a syndicated loan agreement.
The training exercise is useful because it helps the participants consolidate the knowledge they have acquired, said Elizabeth Uwaifo, a trainer from Radix Legal Consulting. She stressed that the ability to outline and defend the respective positions of a borrower and lender, analyse risks associated with available credit resources, and make decisions regarding the type of credit facilities to pursue are critical skills that all officials involved in financial negotiations must develop.
Tongayi Masvikwa, Legal Counsel at the ALSF emphasised that while it is important to build in-country negotiation capacity, African governments entering international capital markets face similar challenges and can strengthen their collective bargaining positions by establishing common borrower positions.
He reiterated that the training is aligned with the ALSF’s mandate, which seeks to ensure that African governments have the necessary capacity to negotiate complex agreements that contribute to sustainable development on the continent.
The workshop; which was convened following a request from the Government of Ethiopia, covered topics on types of credit facilities, key clauses in loan agreements and issues of sovereign bonds.